[ noo-roh-sis, nyoo- ]
See synonyms for: neurosisneuroses on

noun,plural neu·ro·ses [noo-roh-seez, nyoo-]. /nʊˈroʊ siz, nyʊ-/. Psychiatry.
  1. Also called psychoneurosis. a functional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts, compulsive acts, and physical complaints without objective evidence of disease, in various degrees and patterns, dominate the personality.

  2. a relatively mild personality disorder typified by excessive anxiety or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal maladjustment.

Origin of neurosis

From New Latin, dating back to 1770–80; see origin at neur-, -osis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use neurosis in a sentence

  • It is delayed in most organic diseases of the stomach, especially in dilatation and carcinoma, but not in neuroses.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • Neuroses centrorum sexualium sensibiles aut motoriae esse possunt, et neuroses motoriae quandoque impotentiam creant.

  • Psycho-neuroses may occur in connection with sensory or motor nerves.

    Psychotherapy | James J. Walsh
  • Textbooks of the older kind solemnly described syndromes, psychoses, neuroses that simply couldn't be found in the real world!

    The Syndic | C.M. Kornbluth
  • Justifiable attempts have also been made to turn this antagonism between neuroses and group formation to therapeutic account.

British Dictionary definitions for neurosis


/ (njʊˈrəʊsɪs) /

nounplural -ses (-siːz)
  1. a relatively mild mental disorder, characterized by symptoms such as hysteria, anxiety, depression, or obsessive behaviour: Also called: psychoneurosis

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for neurosis


[ nu-rōsĭs ]

  1. A psychological state characterized by excessive anxiety or insecurity without evidence of neurologic or other organic disease, sometimes accompanied by defensive or immature behaviors. This term is no longer used in psychiatric diagnosis.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for neurosis


[ (noo-roh-sis, nyoo-roh-sis) ]

A mental disorder marked by anxiety or fear. Neurosis is less severe than psychosis. (See also angst, hysteria, and phobia.)

Notes for neurosis

In popular usage, a “neurotic” is anyone who worries a lot.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.